Acts 1:8 - Witnessing in the Spirit
Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy
Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part
of the earth.
Acts 1:8 (TEV) But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you
will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in
Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Acts 1:8 (TLB) But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you
will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the
people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of
the earth, about my death and resurrection."
Acts 1:8 provides the outline for the entire book: [New Bible
This is the key verse of the book, serving as an inspired
outline of its contents. This passage sets forth briefly and carefully
the agenda for Christians of all times. It is what all believers are
commissioned to do until Jesus comes again. [Believer's SB]
This verse reveals the theme of the book: you will be my
witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of
the earth. [NIV SB]
In this one verse lies the theme of the entire book and the
mandate for believers today. Every Christian, regardless of specific
talents or spiritual gifts, is called to be a witness to the world of
the saving power of Jesus Christ. [Passages Of Life SB]
This is the great commission as stated in Acts. [Ryrie SB]
This is the fifth statement of the Great Commission. It is also
found in Mat.28:18-20; Mar.16:15; Luk.24:46-49; Joh.20:21. The
mission of the church is to take the gospel to every creature. [Peoples
This passage sets forth briefly and carefully the program for
Christians of all times. It is what all believers are commissioned to do
until Jesus comes again. [Criswell SB]
This command, specifying the geographical areas to be
evangelized, was carried out in exactly the order prescribed here. The work
of evangelizing in Jerusalem began at 2:1; in Judea and Samaria, at
8:5; and throughout the remainder of the earth, at 8:26. [Scofield
In Jerusalem, for todays disciples would be to their own city.
In all Judaea, this for todays disciples would be to the rest of
In Samaria, this for todays disciples would be to the other
countries about them.
Unto the uttermost part of the earth, this for todays disciples
would be to the rest of the countries of the world. [Pastor Art
The Spirit's function was to provide power for witness
worldwide. [New Bible Companion]
Jesus promised the disciples that they would receive power to
witness after they received the Holy Spirit. Notice the progression: (1)
they would receive the Holy Spirit, (2) he would give them power, and
(3) they would witness with extraordinary results. Often we try to
reverse the order and witness by our own power and authority. Witnessing
is not showing what we can do for God. It is showing and telling
what God has done for us. [Life Application SB]
Look at the change the resurrection made in the disciples'
lives. At Jesus' death, they scattered - they were disillusioned, and
they feared for their life. After seeing the resurrected Christ, they
were fearless and risked everything to spread the Good News about him
around the world. They faced imprisonment, beatings, rejection, and
martyrdom, yet they never compromised their mission. These men would not
have risked their life for something they knew was a fraud. They knew
Jesus was raised from the dead, and the early church was fired with
their enthusiasm to tell others. It is important to know this so we
can have confidence in their testimony. Twenty centuries later we
can still be confident that our faith is based on fact. [Life
For the New Testament Christians, witness was not a sales pitch.
They simply shared, each in his own way, what they had received.
Theirs was not a formally prepared, carefully worked-out
presentation with a gimmick to manipulate conversation, and a "closer" for an
on-the-spot-decision ... but the spontaneous, irrepressible,
of those who had met the most fascinating Person who ever lived.
The gospel is not theology. It's a Person. Theology doesn't
save. Jesus Christ saves. The first-century disciples were totally
involved with a Person. They were followers of Jesus. They were
learners of Jesus. They were committed to Jesus. They were filled with
They had encountered Jesus Christ and it simply could not be
concealed. They witnessed not because they had to , but because they could
not help it.
Their school of witnessing was the school of the Spirit where
they learned continuously. Authentic Christian witness is born of
the Spirit. Richard Halverson [Time with God SB]
If the Christian life is simply a matter of doing our best,
there was no need for God to send the Holy Spirit to help us. After
all, our best is our best. How do we improve on that? Since God is
omniscient, as we certainly believe He is, He knows when we have done all we
can do. Why complicate matters?
Jesus let it be known, however, that God was looking for more
than our best. He was looking for a life-style and attitude that
superseded our best, a life-style and attitude that we could never attain
through our own efforts....
Think about this. If we don't need any help, why send a Helper?
The promise of a Helper presupposes that we need help. The promise
of a Helper was Jesus' way of tipping us off to one of the most
profound truths concerning the Christian life--it's impossible! The
quality of life Jesus expects from His followers is unattainable apart
from outside intervention. (From The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life by
Charles Stanley) [Inspirational SB]
The Holy Spirit is the means by which God makes his power
accessible to us. This power is so great that it not only brings life and
healing to us, but it also spreads to others through us. In fact, it is
almost impossible to separate our receiving of God's gift from our
sharing it with others. [Life Recovery Devotional SB]
If we are not sharing the gospel with others, then we have not
heard it ourselves. [Daily Walk Bible]
He who has no fire in himself cannot warm others. [Source
Communicating Christ effectively requires as much spiritual
power as performing miracles. [Victor Bible Reader's Companion]
Evangelism is a process, not just an event. It involves a total
lifestyle, not just occasional efforts. [Word In Life SB]
This Infilling Of The Holy Spirit Requires A Relationship With
We cannot use the Holy Spirit; the Spirit is to use us. Through
the Spirit, God works in His people "to will and to do of His good
pleasure."[3 PHIL. 2:13.] But many will not submit to be led. They want to
manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift.
Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance
and grace, is the Spirit given. This promised blessing, claimed by
faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according
to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply
every soul according to the capacity to receive. GW284,5
Jesus instructed his disciples to witness to people of all
nations about him. But they were told to wait first for the Holy Spirit.
God has important work for you to do for him, but you must do it by
the power of the Holy Spirit. We often like to get on with the job,
even if it means running ahead of God. But waiting is sometimes part
of God's plan. Are you waiting and listening for God's complete
instructions, or are you running ahead of his plans? We need God's timing and
power to be truly effective. [Life Application SB]
There is no limit to the usefulness of the one who, putting self
aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and
lives a life wholly consecrated to God. 8T19
I remember telling a friend, "If I were dying, what I would most
need would be confidence that all I had believed about Jesus was
true. I would want you to read Scripture to me, pray with me, and talk
to me about Jesus and heaven." This confidence is what I need most
not only when I am dying, but also when I am living. [Quiet Time
All true Christians believe that Jesus Christ is coming again.
They may differ in their views of when certain promised events will
occur, but they all agree that He is returning as He promised.
Furthermore, all Christians agree that this faith in future glory ought to
motivate the church....
Because we do not know the day or the hour of our Lord 's
return, we must constantly be ready. The believer who starts to neglect
the "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13) will gradually develop a cold heart,
a worldly attitude, and an unfaithful life (Luke 12.35-48)....
Not only should this expectant attitude make a difference in our
conduct, but it should also make a difference in our witness....
Since this is the day of salvation, we must be diligent to do
all we can to win the lost.... We must understand what the Bible
teaches about God's program for this present age, and we must be
motivated by a love for the lost (2 Cor. 5:14) and a desire to be pleasing
to Him when He returns. Warren Wiersbe [Time with God SB]
It is impossible to avoid making a decision, for such an
avoidance is itself a decision. Likewise a decision not to witness is a
witness in itself! To what would such a decision be a witness? Would
it indicate something of one's relationship with Christ? [Teachers
Adult SS Quarterly, 9/26/95]